Police get £50m for handheld devices

Police at 27 forces will receive a total of 10,000 handheld devices to help them stay on the beat for longer after the government announced £50m funding. This...

Police at 27 forces will receive a total of 10,000 handheld devices to help them stay on the beat for longer after the government announced £50m funding.

This will enable police forces to reduce the time officers spend in the station filling in reports and increase the time they spend attending to front line duties.

This follows a report published in February on the future of policing in England and Wales. It found that better use of technology will be needed to help cut red tape and enable officers to spend more time on the street.

The review, carried out by chief inspector of constabulary, Ronnie Flanagan, was published by the Home Office. Flanagan predicted measures such as overhauling the stop-and-search system and reducing paperwork could save five million man hours a year.

"We are investing in new technology to make crime fighting more effective and to save officers' time," said Tony McNulty, minister for policing.

Forces were asked to apply for a portion of the £50m funding to the National Policing Improvement Agency, detailing how they would manage procurement, staff training and ensuring that the technology and infrastructure were in place and in operation by either September 2008 or March 2009.

Richard Earland, chief information officer at the National Police Improvement Agency, said, "Officers who have access to databases, such as the Police National Computer, command and control and intelligence systems while out on patrol, will spend less time returning to the station and more time on the frontline - therefore increasing visibility and reassuring the public."




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